Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sisterly Love

5.5x8 watercolor/ink with Micron 01 pen on Strathmore Visual Journal.  First sketched in ink, these two cat sisters were too adorable to pass up as a subject.  They belong to another artist.  You can never have too many cuddly hugs.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Henry, Boston Terrier

7x9.5 watercolor and ink (Pitt pen XS by Faber Castell) on Ecosystem sketchbook done this weekend during a timed 2 hour event on WetCanvas.  The dog, Henry, belongs to host Susan Smith.  My maternal great-grandmother, Cynthia J. Garner Reese raised these dogs. She was related to our 32nd Vice President of the US, John Nance Garner, aka Cactus Jack, a Texas lawyer/legislator.  In addition, my mother-in-law Maxine Key Zant owned them as well.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Plant Parade

15x22 watercolor on 140 lb Saunders cold press paper, painted from my own amaryllis blooms.  I intentionally left the background the white of the paper so the lilies would stand out.  With only reds and greens, this complementary color palette has been successful for me the many times I've used it.  This painting is featured now on the Florals/Botanical forum channel on WetCanvas during February's monthly challenge for the plant parade.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Elegant Great Blue Heron

12x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper completed today in a timed WetCanvas challenge hosted by tyree.  This bird from start to finish took less than 2 hours.  This guy was watching for fish for his dinner.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Underwater Orchids

5.5x9 alcohol inks on Yupo synthetic paper using only 3 colors:  yellow, aqua, and pink.  With these primaries many organic forms emerged that reminded me of orchids beneath water.  Inks are by Tim Holtz, Ranger Adirondack brand.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Darkhaired Gal

8x5 mixed media on sketchbook paper done today from a Tombow brush pen sketch outline last week.  The paper was not slick therefore the black ink did not spread much when water added, so I applied watercolor to the figure then Montana acrylic marker to the background.Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2017.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Danforth Chapel University of Kansas

6x9 watercolor on Canson 140 lb cold press paper of Danforth Chapel, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas finished today.  This is one of the refs provided by Rob, host of February's monthly challenge in the WetCanvas Landscape forum.  Hosts provide their own references or use those in the vast image library the site has to offer.  I could not resist the peaceful little chapel with its stained glass windows surrounded by snow and icy trees.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


7.5x5 watercolor over ink line using Micron 01 pen done this weekend while on a trip.  This little boy is the brother of artist Marianne Ginsberg and is painted from an old photo she had in the weekend drawing event on WetCanvas along with 15 more images.  Colors are added to show an autumn day as the courtesy image was not that descriptive.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith.

Monday, February 20, 2017


8.5x5.5 mixed media on Bienfang sketchbook done last Thrusday of a stainless steel percolator (people still use those? I do) and coffee cup with roses.  After ink line drawing done with Micron 01 pen, watercolor was added to pot, cup, and table.  Background is blue and red Montana acrylic markers.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


5x7.5 watercolor and ink line on Moleskine sketchbook done yesterday, a garden still life of tools and trays of tomato plants ready to go on a potting table.  Clay pots and garden gloves along with potting soil mix sit prepared to do a season's work.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pink Cyclamen in Window

22x15 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper drawn and painted from clay pot of my pink cyclamen plant.  In a sunny south window the flowering plant took on a new vibrant glow; I've done negative painting throughout.  Everyone is ready for flowers and sunshine!
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, February 17, 2017


9.5x7 watercolor and ink line on Ecosystem sketchbook done recently for another WetCanvas challenge online.  Both rowboats are lined up ready to go out on the water.  Reflections of background trees can be seen in the foreground water along with clouds and sky.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dick Blick Gifts

Dick Blick Art Materials in Galesburg, Illinois sent all WetCanvas moderators a surprise box of appreciation gifts.  As a thank you for our service to the largest art site in the world www.wetcanvas.com I got mine yesterday consisting of Brusho crystal colors and a Holbein spray mister bottle. Brusho sets list for 62.99 and are currently 50.99 in their catalog.  These are brilliant and versatile watercolor ink crystals that are to be sprinkled directly on a wet support, applied with a brush or knife, or dissolved in water and applied with a spritzer. The description states that intriguing organic patterns will appear like magic.  These tiny bottles of tintillating fun are made in England.  Can't wait to try them out www.dickblick.com.  The company featured my Christmas art in their holiday catalog a few years ago.  Thank you Dick Blick, proud sponsor of WetCanvas!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bluebonnet Blitz

22x15 watercolor on Fabriano 140 lb cold press paper finished last Monday, sandwiched in between doing a valentine every day, just anxious to paint a floral for a change.  Next month will be traveling to Fredericksburg to do a demo but it will be too early to see these lovely Texas state flowers blooming wildly along roadsides and ranches.  Several years ago I painted a macro view of the lovely lupine and get email from those who have seen that painting asking if I have any more of them.  This one has prints available on my website www.kaysmith.artspan.com in every size, or the original.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Windblown Tulip

8.5x11 alcohol inks on photo paper done during our last windstorm day before yesterday in which everything blew and blew and it is not even March yet.  That is when our typical sandstorms happen before the seasons change.  An abstract background of pinks and yellows was put in first then the red blown with a straw and finally the green base and stem.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine Love

12x8.5 mixed media collage on gessoed matboard begun yesterday then finished today right in time for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Several layers of acrylics cover and recover before heart shapes were sketched in.  Lastly I collaged a paper napkin that had been stamped in black ink with a script verse; red part is alcohol ink.  In addition, the inks were added to white acrylic for some amazing color variations.
Image COPYRIGHT Kay Smith 2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine Cupcake

8.5x5.5 watercolor over pencil line drawing on Masters sketchbook done today, another in my 14 day Valentine series that will end Tuesday.  I hope the followers of this blog have enjoyed seeing each day's surprise as much as I did creating them.  Love all the pinks in this yummy one.  Paints used:  Permanent Rose, Wild Fuchsia, Taylor's Flamingo Pink, Ultramarine blue.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine Palette Tulips

12x9 watercolor on 140 lb cold press paper, total 2 hours for a timed WetCanvas event this weekend. The old palette was used as a tool to divide into sections those tulips in front of and behind it, from a photo I shot in studio of red Valentine tulips.  It is fun to paint fractured images.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine Heart WIP finished

12x12 torn paper collage on canvas is now finished after a 3 day work in progress, about 2-3 hours per day or more.  I think the colors are great with the reds against neutrals and all that is left to do is to put several coats of gloss varnish by Liquitex over it for shine and preservation.  So many things are included in the heart such as blush brushes, red sofa, red dress, dice, jukebox, flowers, an apple (for that Adam & Eve connection), a lobster (for that romantic dinner), Tabasco hot sauce bottle, Big Red soda, and tomato juice.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine Heart WIP step 2 torn paper collage

12x12 torn paper collage on canvas board, a work in progress in my series on hearts for Valentine's Day.  Here in this view you can see beginning background is composed of patterns in neutrals of brown, beige, black and white which will let the vivid red and red oranges show up more.  Part of the patterns are an animal print for that wild at heart person.  I will replace the letter 'H' on heart once I find one larger.  Stay tuned for the finish tomorrow.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine Heart WIP on canvas

12x12 torn paper collage on canvas board, a work in progress in my series on hearts for Valentine's Day.  First I drew a heart shape with black felt tip pen.  I opened my stash of color coded magazine pages to the reds then tore, not cut with scissors, various pieces that are adhered with matte medium using an old bristle brush.  Look center and down right to see the letters H-E-A-R-T with the T being red on a blue background.  This is about 1.5 hours work and will post progressive photos tomorrow.
WIP Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine Love Notes

5.5x8 mixed media on Strathmore Visual Journal for mixed media that is yesterday's work in my continuing heart series.  First I did a stamp of text with black ink, then drew hearts with white acrylic.  Next these were filled in with red alcohol ink and allowed to run and mix with acrylic paint.  Hearts were outlined with black felt tip pen and text outlined with black charcoal pencil.  Pink Montana acrylic marker made the edges complete and when all dry I wrote Love Notes on the lower left heart.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine Letter

5.25x5.5 alcohol inks on Yupo synthetic paper done yesterday for my valentine series.  This has a couple of red inks and when dry I applied a rubber text stamp with black in on top.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Vanilla Valentine

9x12 mixed watermedia on watercolor paper done yesterday for my 14 day valentine challenge.  First I drew a heart outline with white Crayola then made random marks with that over a scrap paper background.  Next I had white and light pink Montana markers along with Taylor's Pink Flamingo watercolor fill in the heart.  Using raw umber watercolor mixed with white gouache the back was done.  As it was too bright and I wanted a shabby chic look, I coated the entire page with off white latex acrylic after wetting back and front then lifted some paint off with paper towel.  When dry stamp letters spelled out the title Vanilla Valentine.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Purple Heart Valentine

5.5x5.5 alcohol inks on Yupo medium weight synthetic paper done today using two purple inks: Currant and Purple Twilight by Tim Holtz.  I had first drawn a heart outline using a white Crayola wax crayon hoping the ink would stay within its shape but did not so just went with the flow and enhanced with 91% alcohol and blending solution to get a smooth background.  I like how both purples separated into blues and reds.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Japanese Selfie Valentines

8.5x5.5 ink and watercolor on Bienfang for mixed media sketchbook done today; no pencil used only black Tombow brush pen putting in the darks first.  With these two lovebird couples taking selfies with a pink phone it is perfect for a valentine of sweethearts.  I only colored the floral dress of the girl holding the phone, the hair flower and middle wrap of the one in white.  A script liner #1 brush used with water to bring black out to make grey for a three value piece.  The photo is courtesy Dewi of WetCanvas and will be featured on this month's Watermedia challenge.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Valentine Collection

6x9 mixed media on Canson 140 lb cold press scrap paper completed today in my valentine daily challenge; twelve days to go.  In this I drew with black India ink three hearts in large, medium, and small sizes.  Collage pattern on paper was added where you see the black and light tan pieces. Lastly, watercolor was added inside large and medium hearts. The scrap paper was a piece put underneath larger works hence all the multicolored marks of acrylic and watercolor and gouache.  Splattering in Grumbacher red added when all was dry.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine Song

8x6 mixed media collage on Stillman & Birn zeta series sketchbook done today since it is now February, lovers month, the 14th of which we celebrate that most noble of all feelings and desires.  I first outlined a heart shape on an old novel page that happened to be about valentines using a dark pink felt tip marker.  Next I used watercolor pencils to do an hombre' effect going from red to orange to peach to pink then yellow and back.  I wet those areas with a small brush and did splattering using the wet paint.  I spread matte medium on the paper's back then with a brayer rolled it onto the sketchbook page getting all air bubbles out.  When dry I used a red Montana acrylic marker for extra lines and emphasis then used a pink one for the edges.  It would be fun to do one heart a day challenge until the 14th arrives.
Image COPYRIGHT 2017 Kay Smith.